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  • Writer's pictureA'Tavia Tatiana

The Man, the Myth, the Anxiety?

We’ve all heard about the big ”O”. But let’s talk about the big “A”. Anxiety.

A subject that is just as taboo as orgasms. (I’ve been watching a lot of sex and the city, so, you’ve been warned).

Anxiety is a nearly non-existent topic in a lot of black families; along with that one gay relative, therapy, and finances. (But we’re not getting that deep today)

For as long as I can remember I’ve dealt with anxiety. I don't consider myself a sufferer of anxiety, but definitely a dealer. The earliest memory that grazes my mind is an instance in the grocery store. My sister, my mother, and I meandering down the aisles. I, age 7 or 8. There I am, thinking, thinking, and overthinking about death and its uncertainty. I begin over-breathing & hyperventilating. I attempt to tell my mom, however, I'm met with her annoyance and told to “cut it out”. This happened often in my childhood.

How can I expect her to understand what I feel? How can I even put it into words?

The thing about anxiety is, it’s not easily categorized. It is such an inexplicable experience. Overwhelm, for no apparent reason. Doom, without a cause. Grief so deep you think you might implode. As the thinker I am, I’ve traced some instances down to overthinking. But, in some cases, it’s not so simple. Sometimes you just cannot breathe. It often feels like a lingering prelude to depression.

However, I wonder can one exist without the other?

I feel happy.. but I also feel anxious. How sway? Anxiety can come in so many forms, it’s important we let it be what it is. With the pandemic, we all have a lot of time for reflection.

I challenge you, to challenge it.

It being your anxiety. It’s okay to come out and say that you’re dealing with it. I am too. But, challenge it. Face it, observe it, and find the root of it. Anxiety can be like one measly weed in a garden of sunflowers. All it takes is one to overthrow the whole plot.

Some triggers for me include:

  • Being around a lot of people/energies for an extended amount of time

  • Being overly eager/happy about something (everything needs balance)

  • Being overly fearful/doubtful about something

  • When things don't go exactly as planned

  • Seemingly not being in control of my own life

Sometimes the key is coping, not fighting. Attempting to combat something so deep-rooted as anxiety is like going into a boxing ring without training. So how do I cope?

Oh, just the cliches. Meditation, Yoga, Conversation, Writing, etc. The key is finding what works for you.

FYI: Meditation is not only the sit on a pillow and chant kind, it also comes in forms such as painting, praying, dancing, baking, etc. whatever connects you to the present moment. That’s the goal.

Here are some of the tools I’ve found helpful along my journey:

Insight Timer:

a free meditation app with thousands of guided meditations, courses, and music for your practices.

Open Path Collective:

local, low-cost therapy. Remember when I mentioned conversation? It's nice to have friends to reach out to, but they have their own stressors too. Reach out to someone whose job it is to listen and guide you.


Jo Franco, a content creator from Shut Up and Go leads a daily journal entry on her Instagram story. Each day she starts with a writing prompt and others share their entries. It’s helping me revive my love for writing.

Learning new skills:

I’ve recently enrolled in a zoom-based French course, started learning Italian via podcast, and began doing more research about finances and investing. This world is so expansive, why not expand your mind too, before we can no longer “find the time” with our busy lives again.

CBD Oil:

CDB is one of the many cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. Yes, weed. However CDB itself is non-psychoactive and its properties have been proven to help with stress, anxiety, and much more

I hope you’re taking the steps to heal and deal with yourself. It’s not an easy journey, but it’s another necessary step toward fully loving and knowing yourself. This week, I challenge you to challenge your challenges.

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